Foreign Minister Refutes Venezuelan Aircraft Visits Claims


Minster of Foreign Affairs, E.P. Chet Greene, has condemned a post on the website, , about Venezuelan military aircraft in Antigua, as “utterly absurd and ridiculous”.

The post was written by a Mr. Audley Phillip, who is not known to be a journalist or an expert in matters related to Venezuela. Yet, on August 19 th , Mr. Phillip wrote a post falsely alleging that “two different Venezuela aircraft made landings at V.C. Bird International Airport recently”. Phillip went on to write the entirely malicious allegation that, “The Antigua Government has yet to give a reason for the aircraft’s visit but concerned individuals wondered aloud if the Antigua Government is helping its friendly ally to hide and store some of their wealth in preparation for Maduro’s departure”.

Foreign Minister Greene declared that, “normally, the government of Antigua and Barbuda
would treat this spurious post by someone, clearly seeking relevance, with the contempt it
deserves. However, in an age of prevalent fake news and bogus writers, such as Audley
Phillip, my ministry has decided to expose his evil mischief”. Minister Greene explained the facts of the matter as follows:

“No Venezuelan military planes landed in Antigua. What did land in Antigua on 15 th and 16 th
August was a Transcarga International Airways flight carrying cargo for Cricket West Indies,
the governing body for cricket in the West Indies. The government of Antigua and Barbuda
had nothing to do with the chartered aircraft whose main activity is the regular shipping of
Cricket West Indies chartered Transcarga International Airways, which is a Venezuelan
airline, to transport broadcasting equipment from Trinidad to Antigua for the West Indies
versus India test match which is slated to be played at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium from
August 22 nd to 26 th .

The plane is also chartered by Cricket West Indies to arrive in Antigua on August 27 th to
transport the equipment to the next venue of the West Indies versus India cricket match”.
Minster Greene stated that he is making public the airline’s cargo manifest and its airway
bill for general scrutiny by releasing them with his public statement.

The Minister denounced Mr. Audley Phillip as “a fraud whose evil-intentioned post on the
website of Antigua Newsroom could have caused the country and the people of Antigua and
Barbuda irreparable harm”.

Minister Greene reminded that Antigua and Barbuda is a nation where freedom of the press
is upheld and respected, but he cautioned Antigua Newsroom “not to allow itself to be used
by failures such as Audley Philip who has taken to manufacturing false information in a
desperate effort for recognition”.


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  1. It is nice that the Foreign Minister has finally come out and give an explanation as to the exact reasons for the landing of the 2 Venezuelan registered aircraft. It would seem that we are really going back in time because in our thriving democracy, it is an offence to ask a question or questions of government. I do not purport to be a journalist but I am an Antiguan by birth and that gives me the right to speak out once I am not libeling anyone. This issue obviously touched a nerve in Chet that warranted his outburst. Our democracy is seriously under threat when citizens are lambasted for speaking out on issues of national interest.
    Given the ongoing situation in Venezuela, the Foreign Affairs Minister would have been better advised to issue a public release at the time of the aircraft landings in Antigua, in an effort to avoid speculation and doubt which this caused even by airport workers many of whom was in the dark.

    • Kudos to you my good man, without you questioning things we would not have anything.
      Thanks bro and keep on keeping on.

    • Audley, if you had simply asked why the planes were in Antigua, that is fine. But you went on to suggest that the government might be assisting Maduro to hide his wealth. That is the problem and that is why the government reacted against you. Not simply because you asked a question. You asked a question and then posited an answer that suggested wrongdoing on the part of the government. You did so with absolutely no proof of any such wrongdoing. You are in the wrong.

    • Notes From A Native Son Of The Rock! “The unpreparedness of the educated classes, the lack of practical links between them and the mass of the people, their laziness, and, let it be said, their cowardice at the decisive moment of the struggle will give rise to tragic mishaps.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

      Clearly, no one can function properly as a critic, journalist, scientist or humanist if he or she does not adequately locate the data and resultant information in time and space! What National Damage has been wrought in Cyberspace!

      Why do some people of African descent, with no misgivings and with great pride, revel in the role of agent provocateurs! This lucrative role, this function as small-time racketeer, this narrow-mindedness and lack of ambition are symptomatic of their incapacity to fulfill their historic role as builders of solid National Institutions and a Caribbean Civilization! The dynamic, pioneering aspect, the inventive, discoverer-of-new-worlds aspect common to every national builder is lamentably absent!

      “For me words have a charge. I find myself incapable of escaping the bite of a word, the vertigo of a question-mark, we must turn over a new leaf, we must work out new concepts, and try to set afoot a new man.” ― Frantz Fanon!

      • Where have you been John French II.Where have you been hiding?What has become of your brother,Tenman? I see you are still quoting your man Frantz Fanon.Rest in Peace Frantz Fanon.

  2. No democracy is under threat whether one is an Antiguan by birth or otherwise, it is the wanton maliciousness of some bloggers that create an environment that can/could potentially put our country in potential danger given the ongoing situation in Venezuela which is at its highest point. Is it normal for the a minister to make public the arrival of aircraft movements whether from hell or anywhere else? When you get caught red handed with your pants down own up and stop making excuses because that only validates/solidifies the minister’s point. You are the one that should check the FACTS before you try to put “the country of your birth” in jeopardy.

  3. How can you comment or make an statement without knowledge wouldn’t it be better to ask first than to make accusations on the matter which you have no knowledge. I am with the minister your actions could have hurt the country.

  4. Thats a rather big craft just for 10 pallets?.
    The bill listed promotional items, what were/are these?.

    • If you look at the 2 forms above in my opinion they resemble an amateurish computer effort..check the gross weight, commodity item and drag and paste (7th box down from the top) efforts on the air waybill and the lines on the manifest. Something doesn’t appear right.

  5. Democracy under threat?? So you want to be “wrong and strong” Audley? Democracy doesn’t give us free reign to say and write things “as we feel like” dear. I wonder if someone were to write something untruthful about you for all the world to see, if you would would sit back, relax and say “oh well it is their democratic right”?

    Now if you boarded the aircraft and saw things other than what were listed in the Manifest, then please post the pictures so you can be given credit for uncovering the truth. But if not, then you need to admit to yourself that you exercised POOR JUDGEMENT in this case. We all make mistakes. But admitting we were wrong is the first step to learning from our mistakes. C’mon man.

  6. I do think that manner of speech matters and particularly so from someone who is in public office. To denigrate any citizen on a public forum is totally lacking in the protocol that should be/needs to be attached to being a person holding public office. A public release/apparent correction can always be done in a courteous and respectful manner and does not require hurling insults at someone that is perceived to be anti-party…what sort of example does that set for the masses and in particular the youths in this country? This outburst still leaves questions as to why 2 cargo planes would be required to bring 10 pallets of “broadcasting equipment” and did they leave with any “cargo”?

    • Our public officials are so thin skinned that if you dare question anything, then you are personally attacked and slandered. I thought we had matured to the point where we can engage in meaningful dialogue, even if we disagree with each other, without name calling and slander. We obviously haven’t. That the Minister have spent so much time in directing his venom towards me says a lot. And for the record, I did not personally see the Venezuelan aircrafts………persons working at VCB International Airport and its environs provided the information, hence my original article.

  7. It is a pity you cannot sue people for spreading fake news, but only for libelous statement and defamation of character. Because I would have loved to see this deliberate attempt to be punished so that we would be more mindful of the damage we do to our country’s reputation. The very same country whom we claim to love so dearly.
    Someone needs to stand up for Antigua and Barbuda.

  8. Here are some more questions for the minister
    1 which agent handled the flight?
    2 who moved the cargo?
    3 why arrive at that time?
    4 Was it a scheduled flight?
    5 Was customs and immigration present?
    6 Who moved the cargo on the ground?
    7 Do you think the WI cricket boss should be fired for not using LIAT or Caribbean airlines to move the cargo?

    Mr Minister please respond to these simple questions.

  9. Audley my friend. I wanted to read the commentary myself before commenting specifically. I have found the commentary so I am now in a position to give my comments. Audley, I would have done it differently. I would have made an OFFICIAL INQUIRY as to the purpose of the visit of the planes and if I was not given an answer, I would have then commented publicly. That is the how I do it. I am aware that some officials (public & private) believe they are above giving answers, but once I satisfy myself that I would have made an official inquiry, then I do not let the lack of a response hold my pen or tongue. Just as an example my friend, I have written to the Chairman of the Board of Directors of State Insurance
    Company Limited about an interview with regard to the over- spending on the Treasury Building. If I do not hear from her or if she does not grant the interview, then I will just do what I have to do. BLESSINGS MY FRIEND.

    • I appreciate your candid views my friend Beef and we all do things differently. I never would have expected a personal attack from the Minister on my character. He is a public figure and I am entitled to ask questions. His release was disrespectful, rude and offensive and does nothing else but belittle the high office he holds. If he is against responding to critical things that are of national interest, then he should not be a Minister. My article was based on many questions/responses/queries from many persons including several staff members at VC Bird International Airport……..that is all!

    • Beef no one is obligated to grant anyone an interview. In USA you see how journalists run all over the world to cover certain cabinet members and they still refuse to give an interview. Rex Tillerson was followed all over he world for that manner. But as a good journalist you cannot just say what you want if you do not have the proof of what you are alleging. And that is what Mr. Philip did. That is irresponsible. I was at the receiving end of this practice from Fergie Derrick. He ask me for an interview bout something about my business that he heard. I declined to give him and interview and he told me straight up he will print it anyway. No regards for the truth. He had no facts just hear say so. And it damaged my business for a while. Mr. Philip was wrong to make accusations he doesn’t have any proof to. And I wish he could be sued for that.
      And concerning your issue with State Insurance, you will not get an interview from Ms. Yearwood. So make up your mind what you want to write. Just make sure you speak truth to power. And that you have your facts. Free Speech in a democracy has responsibilities. When the police arrest you in the USA and reads you your rights they have to tell you that you have the right to remain silence.

  10. The cricket gear is a cover. Too much overkill for such a small set of equipment. Two cargo planes? If they were innocent, Chet would have been more alarmed than that, and the Top Dog would have been calling for all kinds of things to be happening to Audley.
    Can’t fool all of us.

    • So brethren you have no problem also throwing WICB under the bus since this is their charter? Let me tell you, if the US government starts believing what AP suggested and sanction us (unfairly as they have done in the past to other nations eg Iran), its the people here who will also suffer.

  11. Keep up the good work Audley.Keep on asking questions.Do not accuse anyone.Just asks any darn questions you feel fit.They cannot take your speech away from you.
    Was those planes really chartered by WICB? Persons have created manifests to show they were in a certain place.When in fact they were elsewhere.I do not believe this Political Minister.Them lie,them lie too much.Why the WICB did not come out and say something.When this story did break last weekend.About two planes from Venezuela that flew into Antigua at odd hours of the night.I see this story brought out all of the Laborites. Tenman,Sidelines,French,Beef,among others.All eating at the trough and getting fat and fatter like little pigs. One day that trough would be dried.Then what you folks do.Crawl on all fours to the Big Dawg.I am a proud born Antigua and Barbuda National.I do not take handouts from politicians.Because they would use you and discard you when they had enough.

    • I did not send you to do just a name search. You can find out everything at the Company Register. But if your feel there is a sinister plot as to who are the registered owners than say that.

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